We all either own or possess certain things; or maybe you want to describe how many of something an entity has. Just how do you quantify key characteristics or possessions?

In this Podcast, you will learn:

(i) To let someone know how many things or items you or someone else has

(ii) How to talk about and quantify possessions


(1)    厨房有一张餐桌,餐桌上有一盘水果。

Chú fáng yǒu yī zhāng cān zhuō, cān zhuō shàng yǒu yī pán shuǐ guǒ.

There is a dining table in the kitchen. There is a plate of fruit on the dining table.

(2)    我家有3间卧室,每间卧室都有一张床。

Wǒ jiā yǒu sān jiān wò shì, měi jiān wò shì yǒu yī zhāng chuáng.

There are three bedrooms in my home. There is a bed in each bedroom.

(3)    我家有三口人,我妻子,我女儿和我。

Wǒ jiā yǒu sān kǒu rén, wǒ qī zǐ, wǒ nǚ ér hé wǒ.

There are three people in my family, my wife, my daughter and I.

(4)    中国有23个省、4个直辖市、2个特别行政区和5个自治区。

Zhōng Guó yǒu èr shí sān gè shěng, sì gè zhí xiá shì, liǎng gè tè bié xíng zhèng qū hé wǔ gè zì zhì qū.

There are 23 provinces, 4 municipalities, 2 special administrative regions and 5 autonomous regions in China.

Chinese words and phrases mentioned in this Podcast:

有/那儿有:there is/are

这儿有:here is/are

没有:there isn’t/aren’t


张:a measuring word for table

餐桌:dining table


一盘:a plate of



间:measuring word for room



张:measuring word for bed

口:measuring word for family member

个:measuring word for person





直辖市:municipality (e.g. Beijing, Shanghai, etc.)

特别行政区:special administrative region (i.e. Hong Kong and Macao)

自治区:autonomous region (e.g. Inner Mongolia and Xinjiang)

Cultural/Grammar notes:

There are lots of measuring words in Chinese. When we express the number of a noun, we need to add a measuring word almost all the time—and different nouns have different measuring words. For example, ‘一张桌子’, ‘一间卧室’, ‘一个人’, ‘一条狗’ (a dog), ‘一枚邮票’ (a stamp), etc.


Mandarin Chinese learning resources we recommend:

Keats Chinese SchoolKeats Chinese School, which was founded in 2004, is one of the top Mandarin Chinese language schools in China, offering both one-on-one immersion Mandarin courses and small group Chinese classes. Located in Kunming, Keats develops personalised exercises and materials for students to meet their learning goals and requirements and can arrange a student visa for its 16 week course.


italkiUsing Italki, a unique system of learning Mandarin Chinese where you interact with real teachers, is widely recognised as an effective way to learn a new language! You’ll make more progress and learn how native Chinese speakers really speak. Plus, Italki is more affordable than offline tutors, offline schools and software, and is convenient to use at your own pace and place!

Yes! I’d like to learn Mandarin Chinese more effectively

Narrated by Song Liu

Our Podcast narrator, is a native Chinese speaker and is originally from Beijing, China and is keen to help you get ahead with learning. She graduated from San Francisco State University with a Master of Arts in Communication Studies. Song also hosted a Mandarin live call-in news and music radio show in the Bay Area.

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